public regard is that of a man whose history will bear close investigation and scrutiny, whose motives have been honorable, his actions manly and his words sincere.
Nathan Scranton, a prosperous farmer of Pleasant Hill township, owns and operates one hundred and sixty acres of land constituting a well improved and valuable farm. He has resided in Nebo for a number of years, and his wide and favorable acquaintance demands that his life history be given in this volume. He is a native son of Pike county, having been born in Spring Creek township on the 14th of February, 1839, when this was still a frontier district in which the work of improvement and cultivation had been carried on to only a limited extent. His grandfather David Scranton, came with his family to Illinois from Virginia, and was one of the first settlers of Pike county, locating in Spring Creek, township when much of the land was still in its primitive condition. He assisted in its reclamation for the uses of the white race, and aided in planting the seeds of civilization which in due time had borne fruit in the advanced material, intellectual and moral conditions of this part of the state. Reuben J. Scranton, father of our subject, was born in Virginia, but was reared in Pike county, and assisted in the arduous task of developing a new farm. He was married here to Miss Sarah Allison, and for a number of years thereafter engaged in general agricultural pursuits. He lost his wife in this county and subsequently removed to Madison county, Missouri, where his last years were passed. He was killed during the Civil war. Of the family of five brothers, and one sister born unto Mr. and Mrs. Reuben J. Scranton, only two are now living, the brother of our subject being Thomas Scranton, a resident farmer of Spring Creek township.
Nathan Scranton was reared to farm labor, and in his early life worked at anything that he could get to do that would yield him an honest living, for from an early age he was dependent upon his own resources. When twenty- three years of age he responded to the country's call for aid and enlisted in 1862 as a member of Company E, Third Missouri Cavalry, with which he served in the Western Army. He participated in the fight at Chalk Bluff, also in the engagements at Pilot Knob and Patterson, together with many skirmishes. He served altogether for three years, one month and sixteen days, and after the close of the war was honorably discharged at Jefferson City, Missouri, having done his full duty as a soldier.
When the country no longer needed his aid, Nathan Scranton returned to Pike county and began work on a farm. It was not long afterward before he sought a companion and helpmate for life's journey, and was married here to Miss Mary Jane Smith, who was born in Nebo. They traveled life's journey happily together for about five years; and there were two children born to this union, of whom one is living. Following his marriage, Mr. Scranton rented a farm and engaged in operating leased land for several years, after which he bought land in Spring Creek township. He then located thereon and cultivated and improved the place for three years, when he sold that property and invested in a farm in Hardin township, where he lived for five years, during which time he erected a good residence upon the property. Subsequently he purchased his present farm in Pleasant Hill township, and he still owns this property. In 1887 he came to Nebo and erected the house now owned by Dr. Williams. He also conducted a hotel for two years, after which he sold out, returning to his farm in Hardin township. Later he purchased his Pleasant Hill township property and afterward bought a neat residence in Nebo — a brick building in which he now makes his home.
On the 12th of August, 1875, in Nebo, Mr. Scranton was married to Miss Nancy M. Crowder, a native of this county, where she was reared. Her father, James V. Crowder, was born in Pike county, and became a soldier who died in the service of his country while a number of a Missouri regiment of infantry. His wife, who bore